September 11, 2018 / 2:06 PM / 8 days ago

Key EU parliament leader says punishment 'could be needed' unless Hungary compromises

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - The leader of the biggest fraction in the European Parliament told a Tuesday debate over accusations that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is flouting democracy that punitive steps “could be needed” unless Budapest compromises.

Manfred Weber, Chairman of the European People Party group (EPP) arrives for a debate on the situation in Hungary at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, September 11, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

“Without a readiness of the Hungarian government to solve the current issues, the legal concerns that are on the table, the start of a dialogue based on Article 7.1 could be needed,” Manfred Weber, the head of the European People’s Party (EPP) said.

But Weber also spoke of “building bridges” and “sticking together”, as well as taking a jibe at EU national leaders for avoiding making any final decisions in a similar rule of law case against Poland.

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska

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